A: How do you read this? I am so confused...
B: It's complicated even for us who studied this at school. It's the "cup" graph of the ship. The cross means 40-feet container. The square and the cross mean the front and back of the same container. Triangles mean two small containers on each side. It lists every “cup” from front to back of the ship. The line here indicates the captain’s cabin. By looking at this graph, we can tell how many containers to load and unload, as well as what we need to be careful with.
A: So every box indicates one container? And this means two short containers combined.
B: Right. So this is one cup with two section. Two triangles mean two short containers. A square means one big container.
A: How about the different colors?
B: Colors mean they are from different ports. Sometimes it needs to transfer from port to port, so it gets complicated. For the graph today, it’s all the same color because it’s all going to the same port.
C: Can you check the last shift?
B: I don’t know. He left when he finished his workload. Why don’t you ask him directly?
C: Better you ask, you guys are friends.
B: We have done over 200 already…
C: But there are 300 total.
B: Some are not released yet… No.33, 33, can I ask you how many containers the previous shift finished?
D: They were unloading the ship.
B: So how many?
B: 400 he said.
D: What kind of question is that?
B: Bo was asking…
A: So this represents looking from two sides, and the left matches the right. So this ship has 6 levels.
B: Yes, 6 levels.
A: 6 levels on the bottom. What about the top?
B: 5-6 levels on top.
A: When the ship came in today, there were 5 levels on top.
B: 4 levels.
A: But maximum it can have 5 levels.
B: Yes, but there is also the difference of empty and full containers. If there are that many levels, they are mostly empty containers.
A: I see.
B: So that it’s not overloaded.
A: It can be overloaded?
B: Of course. Usually there are a lot of empty containers, just to be transferred.
A: I see.
B: The ship today doesn’t have many empty containers. Sometimes we get ships with 700-800 empty containers.
A: So we loaded a lot of empty containers today?
B: Not loaded, we unloaded about 200 empty containers.
A: So the empty containers will be used for goods here?
B: Not always for goods. We are mostly for transfer, so many are transferred again to other ports.
A: So there is not only shipping of goods, but also shipping of containers.
B: Right. This graph is for large ship, this one is for small ship.
A: That simple?
B: This is just for the captains. They draw this themselves, which has a different system. They send this to us, and we send it to the control room.
B: This ship is from Shantou. It’s rare to have ships from Shantou.
A: Right, the direction is kinda funny. It goes from east to west… Where does it go next?
B: It’s for export, going to Hong Kong.
A: So it’s a small ship for export?
B: Yes. So it can’t go that far.
A: So small ships can’t go too far?
B: Correct. If the ship is from a certain place, the people working on the ship are most likely from there.
A: So most people on this ship are from Shantou?
B: Mostly, I don’t know for sure.
A: Where does the large ship today come from?
B: The one just left? Let me check… Fuzhou.
A: Where is it going then?
B: The ship itself is from Fuzhou, but I don’t know where it’s coming from or going to.
A: Someone said it came from Shenzhen.
B: Let me check… Yes, it came from Shenzhen, and now going to Qingdao. After that it may go to other ports. This is the website for all the ship itineraries.
A: Everyone can log into this website?
A: That’s convenient.
B: You can check ships all around the world, as long as they are registered.
A: I don’t want to check unregistered ships. Sounds scary…
B: Unregistered ships probably have some problems…
A: Like pirates?
B: We once had a ship wanted by the custom. It smuggled frozen food.
A: Refrigerated ship?
B: Refrigerated containers.
A: So the ships are similar.
B: Yes, but that ship was shitty.